GLENDALE, Ariz. — The last-place Arizona Coyotes are 7-2-1 in their last nine games, an encouraging run book-ended by comeback victories over the Minnesota Wild.
“They’ve had a rough year, so when they get down it’s easy for them to go, “Oh, jeez we’re down again,'” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But once they get ahead or tied, they start to believe, and they’ve got some good speed out there.”
Arizona turned on that speed in the second period Thursday and beat Minnesota 5-3 to end the Wild’s five-game winning streak.
While the Coyotes are 19-34-10 overall, they are 10-7-5 in their last 22 games. They opened the season 0-10-1.
“I think they’re a lot better team than their record,” Boudreau said.
Richard Panik broke a tie midway through the third period with his first goal for Arizona. Christian Dvorak, Jakob Chychrun, Kevin Connauton and Jordan Martinook also scored, Max Domi had three assists, and Antti Raanta made 31 saves.
“That is a learning experience,” Tocchet said. “You are having a tough start, don’t make it a tough 60 minutes. I thought the last 30 minutes some guys really dug in there and started playing well.”
Arizona also rallied to beat Minnesota the last time they played, scoring the final four goals in a 4-3 overtime victory in St. Paul on Feb. 8.
“Once they got they got that first goal, their game completely changed,” Parise said. “They got life. They got energy. … They kind of did what they did last time to us. They’re a fast team.”
Parise, Mikko Koivu and Matt Cullen scored for the Wild, and Alex Stalock stopped 21 shots.
Forty-nine seconds after Koivu tied it at 2 on a power play, Panik one-timed Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s pass past Stalock’s glove from the right faceoff circle for his first goal with the Coyotes.
Connauton made it 4-2 with 7:56 to go, also beating Stalock to the glove side from the right faceoff circle.
Cullen cut it to one , poking the puck between Raanta’s legs with 6:47 left.
Parise opened the scoring with 4:24 left in the first period, snapping a wrist shot past Raanta’s glove off a slick passing play with Joel Eriksson Ek and Nino Niederreiter. Parise has four goals in 25 games this season after missing the first 39 because of a lower-back injury that required surgery.
Chychrun tied it with 2:32 left in the second period, five seconds after Eriksson Ek was sent off for hooking. Chychrun found the puck in a scrum off a faceoff and beat Stalock with a wrist shot to the short side. The 19-year-old defenseman has two goals in 33 games this season.
Dvorak gave the Coyotes the lead at 4:32 of the third, banging a rebound past Stalock on his second try.
Koivu tied it on a power play at 7:20 of the third, two seconds after a 5-on-3 advantage ended.
Martinook had an empty-net goal.
NOTES: The Coyotes signed junior forward Brayden Burke to a three-year, entry-level deal Thursday. The 21-year-old Burke has 31 goals and 81 assists in 59 games this season for Moose Jaw in the Western Hockey League. Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed. … Boudreau played for the Phoenix Roadrunners in the International Hockey League in 1989-90. He had 41 goals and 68 assists in 82 games. … Arizona recalled C Laurent Dauphin from Tucson of the American Hockey League. He didn’t play.
Wild: At Colorado on Friday night.
Coyotes: Host Ottawa on Saturday night.
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